Interview with Heike Weber
Heike Weber designs and builds incredible installation pieces out of innovative materials specifically for wonderful spaces all across the world
Daniel Rolnik: Why don’t you like capital letters?
Heidi Weber: I don’t understand this question?????? Sorry! SORRY!
DR: Haha, where did you get all the carpet for “multiversum” and how much of it was random vs. planned out?
HW: The carpet-drawing “multiversum” was planned out rigorously for the MARTa Museum in Herford, Germany designed by Frank Gehry. No such thing as random exists! I scanned rubber rings and created the drawings for the space on the computer. The carpet, all 260 square meters of it, was given to us by Vorwerk, the well-known carpet company.
DR: How long does it take you to cut out one of your silicone rugs and what do you do when people accidentally try step on them?
HW: The silicone rugs are not cut, they are drawings directly gunned out of a silicone cartouche. The time it takes to draw each rug depends on the size. For the biggest one, 11m x 5 m, I needed three weeks to draw it and five days to lay it on the floor of the museum. It’s not allowed to be stepped on, because it’s a sculpture. If it happens, the staff has to clean the footsteps.
DR: How many sketches did you draft before you actually painted “Utopia”?
HW: I drew “Utopia” directly on the exhibition walls. I didn’t make sketches in advance because the drawing relates to the architecture. The only thing I did was I practiced the sophisticated line-drawing on the wall of my studio and tried out different markers.
DR: What’s your least favorite medium to work in and why?
HW: Carpet cutouts. I’m interested in finding the balance between a homely material and a composed drawing for a particular space. A carpet suggests coziness, but in the installation there are only thin lines of the carpet and people are scared to walk on it. So, it’s a conflict between what you expect from a room covered with carpet and what I do.
DR: What’s a dibond?
HW: Dibond is a brand name, it’s a composite material made of aluminum and cellular rubber, and a nice medium to laminate photographs onto.
DR: Who are some of your favorite German collectors?
HW: My work is mostly collected by museums like the Kunstmuseum Bonn in Germany, galleries, and some private collectors. I’m very proud that Irene Ludwig (Ludwig Collection) bought a huge installation for the Ludwig- Museum in Aachen, Germany.
DR: What’s an artistic technique you’ve really wanted to start experimenting with?
HW: That’s very simple…anything to do with paper. I experimented with mixing paper-cutouts with wall drawings for an All-Over-Structure.
DR: Where’s the best place to build a snowman?
HW: In a lush garden with a multiplicity of plants and blossoms, and the most important thing is to build it in the summertime And now, you ask – where did I get the snow??? It’s real snow that I bought from the indoor ski venue next to Düsseldorf. And, for the small snowman, I made the snow in my fridge’s freezerThe melting-process is documented and each snowmen dies very individually.
DR: What are you planning on unleashing in 2011?
HW: 2011 has already started! But next month, I will make a huge Utopia-Drawing that’s 600 square meters [approx. 6,000 Feet] for the entrance hall of the university-hospital in Düsseldorf. After that I’ve got a show planned in my Gallery Rasche Ripken in Berlin. I’m showcasing a big acrylic painting on the wall, a wallpaper, lasing cutouts made of aluminum and steal, a video of blowing bubbles, and paper cutouts. But it isn’t all done yet, it still dozes in my head.